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If you wish to get your teenager to attend their paediatric dentist appointments, then tact and sensitivity are needed. Your priority should be to monitor their mindset and well-being.
If you’re a mum, parenthood can become more challenging as your kids reach their teenage years. Staying in tune with their needs is not always easy. Moreover, your child may launch a dramatic protest at every responsibility or task you give them. Whether it’s going to school or cleaning their rooms, resistance is everywhere. Managing it all can be tough, but you can persevere if you stay connected through listening and talking.
Even going to the paediatric dentist may also draw their ire, but they must attend their appointments all the same. Of course, spending your 40s and 50s dealing with moody teenagers can try your patience, so here are some tips below that might help your efforts somewhat.
Think About Phobias
Not every outburst is down to random tantrums. Teenagers are trying to understand their emotions, and they may have developed fears that they cannot fully articulate just yet.
Try to remember that dental phobias can be a real issue that shouldn’t be underestimated. To help overcome these challenges, anything from your company to practising breathing exercises could help calm them. Staff should also be notified of any anxieties too.
Don’t be dismissive of their concerns. Try to be a good listener and address each of their problems directly. Have tailored answers ready for each of their dental anxieties. You can share these concerns with the dentists themselves if you need support here. If you provide only broad, generic statements of reassurance, your efforts may not resonate quite as powerfully.
It may even be worth visiting a mental well-being professional if the fear is deep-rooted enough. Keep all your options open, and your teenager will at least appreciate your commitment to their general happiness as well as their dental health.
Your teenagers aren’t little kids anymore. While you should be sensitive to their concerns, things like bribes and false promises should be off the table.
While you may have the best of intentions, promising that the appointment will proceed without issue could be counterproductive. If your teenager needs fillings or other treatment after you’ve given these assurances, it can hurt the level of trust that exists between you. After that, convincing them to attend future dentist appointments could prove to be significantly more taxing.
It could be that your teenagers will respond more positively to any reality checks you offer them. If you’re frequently met with complaints about ‘treating them like little kids’, then their dentist appointments could be a great time to prove otherwise. Offer encouragement if they need it, but try to focus on facts rather than overly optimistic conjecture.
If you’re confident that your teen isn’t experiencing dental anxiety, but is rather just lazy, then going into detail about the potential consequences of their inaction could be a good idea. Try not to repulse them too much, but offering a general overview of plaque buildup and rotting and/or missing teeth may make them inclined to attend their appointment.
Fall Back on Routine
Your teenager should have had many years of brushing their teeth by now. If they are apprehensive about visiting the dentist, you can bring up their routine as a way to give them additional encouragement.
If they are committed to a strong teeth cleaning regimen, then it’s quite likely their appointment will be viewed by them as little more than a routine checkup. Oral hygiene habits should be second nature to them at this point. There’s no reason their dentist appointments can’t fall into the same category too if they have done as needed.
When there’s a casual element to the proceedings, there’s much less to worry about. Approach things in a cool and collected manner yourself. Your teenager may follow your example or at least remain calm and compliant. Show them that there’s little to be concerned about through your own behaviour.
Talk About What’s Possible
The discourse you create around the dentist may be enough to convince your teenager to attend the appointment. There’s a lot of room for potential in this arena.
Try not to discuss the dentist as if it’s some type of mandatory chore. Instead, discuss it as an opportunity. As your kids grow up, they may start to care more about how they look, and their dentist appointments can play a big role in building their self-confidence.
Show them the services from this dentist in Brisbane so they can see the full range of services available. Pure Dentistry can restore smiles for both health and cosmetic reasons, which means your teen won’t need to be nervous about grinning ever again. Any insecurities they have about their smile can be treated here, so be sure to bring that up if they need some extra motivation!
Of course, good oral health leads to positive general health too. Therefore, it may be good to use these services as an educatory jumping-off point. Pure Dentistry gives honest advice and runs a detailed blog, so browsing that content together could be an informative experience that helps them realise how life-affirming dental check-ups can be.
Use Family Dynamics
Families should be a person’s core support network, irrespective of their age. Therefore, it may be worth nurturing this side of things for your teenager’s dentist trips
If you have multiple teenagers, perhaps the older child can keep their younger brother or sister company in the waiting room? Having one another for support, they may feel greater comfort in their environment and feel like they have someone to relate to close by.
Alternatively, they could regularly experience sibling rivalry and want to get through the dentist appointment if their brother or sister can do so too. Either way, keeping your teenagers together could be a good idea. Make sure there’s no teasing or toxicity, but do let them learn from each other.
If you’re sharing parental responsibilities with another, perhaps one of you has more of a rapport with your teenagers than the other during sensitive times? Should good cop bad cop parenting tactics be used regularly, the good cop’s moral support may be more effective in convincing them to attend the appointment.
Think About Your Behaviour
Your teenager may try to use any potential hypocrisy against you. Therefore, you need to make sure you don’t give them any ammunition.
Attend your own dentist appointments regularly. After that, your kids may be more inclined to follow your example. Try to be seen going too, and discuss your appointments. That way, there’s no doubt in their mind about your pattern of behaviour, and you can condition them into the importance of dental health over time.
They may also feel embarrassed in your company. Try not to take this too personally, as they may just want a little independence with life responsibilities, like dentist appointments. If they are old enough, give them their space and either let them attend alone or have you pick them up later. If you’re not certain about what they’d prefer, ask and try to accommodate their needs where possible.
If you wish to get your teenager to attend their paediatric dentist appointments, then tact and sensitivity are needed. Your priority should be to monitor their mindset and well-being. After that, helping to build their confidence alongside their familial relationships may inspire them into action. Try to practice patience and understanding wherever you can, and hopefully, each visit to the dentist will be seen as a productive way to maintain their health.